East Memphis neighborhood raises money to install more license plate scanners

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Neighborhoods across the city are raising money to buy Sky Cop cameras in an effort to fight crime, but one East Memphis neighborhood is taking it one step further.

"We had a rash of car break-ins, robberies and burglaries. It was obvious it was getting bad," resident Laurie McBride said.

McBride lives in Yorkshire. It's a part of the Sea Isle Park Neighborhood.

She and several neighbors teamed up about a year ago.

"We got together and decided we needed to do something," she said.

Together, they raised thousands of dollars to deck their neighborhood in Sky Cop cameras and, more recently, devices that scan license plates.

Unlike private security, the equipment is synced with MPD's Real Time Crime Center to help them solve crime quicker.

"I definitely think they are working. I think people see them that are up to no good and go elsewhere," McBride said.

On Tuesday, MPD told the council Yorkshire is ready to get two more license plate scanners. WREG found other neighborhoods that have bought including Belle Meade and Kirby Woods.

In 2016, the city council cleared the way for any neighborhood to get their own police cameras.

The problem critics have is that people in neighborhoods that may need the cameras the most can't afford to purchase them.

The council said they are working with those neighborhoods using newer initiatives and grant money.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire said they're willing to share their plan, which included a lot of door knocking and garage sales.

"It took us a year to get where we are. It was persistent awareness getting informality out there," McBride said.

You can check out more information on Yorkshire's plan by visiting their website

IF your neighborhood wants police cameras, contact MPD's Real Time Crime Center by emailing MPDNeighborhoodCameras@memphistn.gov

They will get you a copy of approved vendors. You will have to get quotes and find the money for the equipment and installation.

For more information on getting a grant for your neighborhood watch program: Guidelines_NCPG_Grant